Kamokata – A Journey
Kamokata gets its name from the historical city of Kamokata1 in Japan, which merged with Konkō and Yorishima in 2006 to create the city of Asakuchi. A Journey is Kamokata’s second album, released as the seventh album on the Nirvana Port imprint of Dream Catalogue. The album consists of a single forty-three minute dreampunk track with significant ambient and drone textures. It’s entirely beatless, with the only sense of rhythm coming from Kamokata’s shifting sands of synthesizers and layered drones. It’s rather cinematic, evoking the same cityscape wonder and cyberpunk themes (sans too much foreboding) as do projects by ２８１４, HKE, and City Developer.
At no point do vocals appear; if they do, then Kamokata is exceptionally good at hiding them and blending them as to sound unrecognizable. At about the ten-minute mark, the windy electronic flushes are underpinned by a strong bassline that disappears and reappears several times throughout the album’s progression. Occasionally – such as at the twenty-minute mark – a brief high-pitched tone calls out from the mix. These moments are much-needed: those synthesizers are gorgeous, but A Journey easily could’ve strayed into monotony simply due to its extreme length and furniture-music aesthetic. As it stands, A Journey is just stimulating enough to keep the listener engaged but not distracted.
A Journey is not recommended for those who are looking to take their first steps into drone and ambient music – let Foundation by City Developer take over that role – but it is a strong addition to the library of those who are already enamored with the genre.
1. A Journey – (43:12)
1Also spelled “Kamogata”.